'Supersede' most often misspelled

Aug. 25, 2008 at 6:16 PM

GLASGOW, Scotland, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Collins Dictionaries of Britain said its researchers have estimated that the most commonly misspelled word in the English language is "supersede."

The company said the word is misspelled one out of every 10 times it is used because many other words with phonetically similar endings -- such as intercede and precede -- are spelled with the letter "c" instead of "s," The Daily Telegraph reported.

The researchers said they arrived at their conclusions by using a software program that went through thousands of documents available on the Internet, including published books, blogs and news articles.

Collins said other commonly misspelled words -- including conscience, indict, foreign, mortgage and phlegm -- are challenging because they their spelling is different from their phonetic pronunciations.

"The real spelling problems occur when people have (learned) the rules or have a bit of knowledge, but then make mistakes in how they apply this," said Ian Brookes, the managing editor of dictionaries at Collins.

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